Tag Archives: Focus on Mexico

Mexiconsiderations – Retirement in Mexico for North American Baby Boomers?

Ajijic – Chapala


North American Retirees Moving to Mexico

By Bill Dahl

About The Author:  Bill Dahl is an investigative journalist who recently completed 4 weeks in the Guadalajara/Chapala region of central Mexico examining the retirement possibilities. 

“Where should I retire?” It ‘s a common question in North America as Baby Boomers contemplate how and where they might spend the remainder of this life.  For tens of thousands, this question includes destinations outside the U.S. or Canada. Oftentimes, this process involves mulling over Mexico. Every January, the publication International Living, provides retirees with suggestions using their Annual Global Retirement Index. In 2018, Mexico was ranked as the 2nd Best Place to retire by IL. Estimates vary, but it’s safe to conclude that a few million Americans and Canadians now reside primarily in Mexico. That’s a lot of Gringos who have made the leap.

My wife and I began pondering this question last year. We spent hours upon hours searching the internet, watching a few hundred YouTube videos, and talking to others about this possibility. This included extensive conversations with our Hispanic friends in the U.S. – most of whom have family and friends currently residing in Mexico. During our marriage, we have traveled to Mexico on numerous occasions. Typically, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Cozumel, Mexico City, a cruise to Ensenada, and a walk around Tijuana (for a few hours) – like most American and Canadian tourists do. So, we made a decision.

In August 2018, we set out for a region in Mexico we had never explored before: central Mexico – the state of Jalisco. This region was recommended to us by our Hispanic friends and confirmed by our research. What motivated us, along with millions of others? We had four: A reduced cost of living, access to more affordable healthcare, a better climate (no cold and snow), and new cultural adventures.

We flew from our home in Oregon to Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL) – a two stop, 2,300 mile  flight (about 12 hours door-to-door) on Alaska Airlines. We stayed at a hotel in Zona Centro Historico in downtown Guadalajara for four days ($56 U.S. per night, for a huge room with an outdoor balcony, including breakfast). We found Guadalajara to be a truly magical city – one that most North American tourists never visit. The people, architecture, art, weather, food, value, transportation, history and culture were mesmerizing. We yearned to return.

We departed Guadalajara via UBER for a 45 minute ride to our hotel in Ajijic (Ah-hee-heek) for a 7 day stay, on the shores of Lake Chapala – home to a purported 20,000 expats from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the U.K.  Lake Chapala is the largest body of fresh water in Mexico spanning some 48 miles in length and up to 12 miles wide. It has a superb climate averaging 72 degrees F year round. In August, it is winter in the Chapala area. It rains at night (as it does in Guadalajara). Locals refer to the climate as eternal spring. The busy season is November through May when snowbirds arrive from the north to enjoy the area.

You simply cannot come away from a stay on the north shore of Lake Chapala indelibly and wholly entranced by its multi-dimensional beauty. It is hypnotic. The flowers and vegetation are explosive in their myriad of colors, forms and scents. The vistas are fantastic. The people, food, landscape, weather, art, culture, options for activity and entertainment, accommodations, value, and architecture are all hypnotic. We even took a tour of the area with a local realtor (who had relocated here a year earlier from Wisconsin). Our four primary considerations we set out to explore first hand appeared to be verified: A reduced cost of living, access to more affordable healthcare, a better climate, and new cultural adventures.

During our stay in Ajijic, we had the opportunity to meet with couples from the U.S. and Canada who were attending a seminar at the hotel we were staying in. It was called Focus on Mexico – A Learning Adventure. These couples, like us, were exploring the possibility of retiring to this area of Mexico. To a person, these folks shared that “I cannot imagine retiring in Mexico without attending the FOM experience.”  We flew back to the U.S. glowing – we’ve found it.

We continued our discussions and my wife returned to work. “I think you should attend the next Focus on Mexico seminar,” she said. I registered for the seminar and confirmed my travel plans for two weeks in late October to early November 2018. I studied to improve my Spanish language skills for 5 weeks prior to departure. We also made a list of questions to answer on this second exploration trip. These included:

What are the actual housing costs in the Lakeside market at this time? What does access to more affordable healthcare really mean? What are the immigration and customs considerations? Can we bring our pets and vehicles? What does the area around the entirety of the lake look like? What is the reality for access to wi-fi, the internet, and satellite television look like? What is the water quality in the lake? What is the state of the local infrastructure (sewer, wastewater treatment, water quality and electricity)?  What about the available options for banking/finance/investment and currency conversion? Is local government stable and adequately funded? What does public safety look like?

I’ll provide the answers to these Mexiconsiderations – and many more issues  – in the upcoming articles in this series.



The Pelicans of Lake Chapala by Bill Dahl

The Pelicans of Lake Chapala by Bill Dahl

The Pelicans of Canada arrive in Lake Chapala Mexico every October – to enjoy winter in the warm climate until March – a 3,000 mile one way journey.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to enjoy the images I captured in November 2018 of these marvelous creatures.


Click the image BELOW:

The Pelicans of Lake Chapala Mexico



Focus on Mexico – A Learning Adventure


Focus On Mexico

In October November 2018, I had the opportunity to experience the Focus on Mexico Learning Adventure in Ajijic Mexico. My wife and I had been in Ajijic in August 2018 when Focus on Mexico had their August gathering and had the opportunity to speak with FOM attendees who were participating in the August 2018 session. The unanimous opinion of those August 2018 FOM attendees was “This is a fantastic program! Do it. For sure.”

We returned to the U.S. and decided I should enroll in the October (25-November 2nd 2018) Focus on Mexico forum. I did just that.

Frankly, I had a blast at Focus on Mexico…met fantastic people…learned more than I could have imagined…and will remember the Focus on Mexico learning adventure for the rest of my life. Honestly, it was priceless for me. Here’s how I really feel about Focus on Mexico:

Focus on Mexico by Bill Dahl


“Don’t hesitate! Register for Focus on Mexico NOW! This is NOT a seminar. It IS a learning experience – with others like you, exploring the possibilities of relocating to Lakeside. It is also the opportunity to meet new people, begin enduring friendships, meet those in the business of serving your everyday needs (transportation, moving, customs, immigration, legal matters, fitness, pet care, financial considerations, real estate, healthcare, transportation, investment, foreign currency exchange, financial planning, etc.). Don’t worry – you wont be locked in a dark room for a week! On the contrary, FOCUS staff intentionally immerses the group in a variety of  essential forays into the surrounding communities and culture. Expect to Learn. Ask Questions. Laugh. Explore. Wander. Have Fun! Register today – and complete this learning experience! It is an essential investment that will deliver practical and tangible benefits to you and yours for years to come! You will be very glad you did. We are.”


HERE is a VIDEOWith MUSIC – of my Focus on Mexico adventure…Turn your Sound On…Best on a tablet, laptop or pc monitor – some can screen to you HDTV (if you get YouTube).

Your hosts Michael Nuschke and his wife Rhonda Newcombe are AMAZING people and fantastic guides.

Michael n Rhonda by Evan Ellis-Raymer‌


Michael and Rhonda are assisted by a MARVELOUS woman – Anna Kabande.


Anna Kabande


I have created two photo albums from my Focus on Mexico experience. Just CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW – EITHER ONE:





Focus On Mexico

Register NOW for an upcoming week with Focus On Mexico…You will cherish the Learning Adventure…Trust me…I am still glowing…

Focus on Mexico by Bill Dahl



The Herons of Lake Chapala

The Herons of Lake Chapala by Bill Dahl

The herons of Lake Chapala are simply one in a myriad of magical moments to experience in this region. Make sure you seek out and enjoy the abundant wildlife that inhabits this marvelous region.






The Herons of Lake Chapala, Mexico
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Templo Expiatorio – Guadalajara, MX

Templo Expiatorio – Guadalajara by Bill Dahl


This sacred space in Guadalajara, Mexico left me speechless…It’s beauty, grandeur, architecture and immensity consumed my being and left tears in my eyes…It is a MUST VISIT. Make Guadalajara a  HIGH PRIORITY on your MUST Visit bucket list.

Construction began on this cathedral in 1897 and was completed 75 years later in 1972. It is constructed of hand carved stone and stained glass – that adorns the structure throughout – including –  its’ 100+ foot interior spire soaring into the atmosphere above you.

Don’t overlook that at each hour, there are hand carved characters that emerge from the interior of the structure on the outside (far left of the front main entry) on a moving carousel to music.

Just a fabulously humbling experience to enjoy the privilege to enter this sacred space.

CLICK on the Image BELOW to enjoy the photo ALBUM:




Templo Expiatorio Guadalajara, Mexico

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Jiquilpan – A Pueblo Magico in Michoacan Mexico

Jiquilpan Mexico

Jiquilpan is located on the other side of Lake Chapala from Chapala and Ajijic – with a view of the lake in the distance. It is officially designated as a pueblo magico. It is a vibrant, small city, where the heartbeat of the village (as is typical in Mexico) is the central plaza.

I visited Jiquilpan on Saturday November 3, 2018 as the City was in the midst of celebration Dios de los Muertos. Typically celebrated between October 21 and November 2nd – Jiquilpan has a 4 day celebration from the 1st through the 4th.

Mexico – Aworldofitsown

I was greeted by the youthful staff of the Jiquilpan Board of Tourism. They were Fantastic!!! The town was decked out for the ongoing celebration!!!

Jiquilpan Mexico

The following is my photo album from Jiquilpan. Just click on the image below. Make CERTAIN you have Jiquilpan on your MUST VISIT list when in Guadalajara or the Lake Chapala region!!!

Mexico Tourism Board


Enjoy my photo album of Jiquilpan by CLICKING on the image below:

ENJOY Jiquilpan!!!